Tea-breaker poll: Brexit on OH
Directives and Regulations of the European Union, and decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have played a significant part in making and shaping UK laws governing health and safety at work, working hours, and enhancing employment rights for pregnant women and people with disabilities, among others. But some say these have placed heavy burdens on business and created unnecessary bureaucracy – and that Britain should be free to make its own laws and its courts not be bound by the ECJ. Will the UK’s exit from the European Union have a positive or negative impact on occupational health law?
Please take a minute to let us know your opinion in our tea breaker poll
Occupational health and hygiene professionals continue to be relatively well paid, and most believe they are adequately remunerated for their work, according to the sixth biennial Occupational Health [at Work] pay and benefits survey. Only around half of all OH and hygiene professionals received a pay rise in the year to June 2016. The findings, including mean and median salaries across the professions and sectors, will be published in the August/September edition of Occupational Health [at Work]
Publication of the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) proposed new occupational safety and health management system ISO 45001 has been delayed. Approval of the draft standard (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso45001) was blocked because more than one-quarter of the participating national standards bodies voted against its adoption in the present form. The final version is not now expected until the second half of 2017 – up to a year after its expected launch. ISO 45001 will replace the current standard OHSAS 18001 and will follow other generic management system approaches, such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
Working with arthritis
Arthritis Research UK has published a report to help policymakers, healthcare professionals and employers better understand the needs and views of working-age people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. It makes six recommendations to government to help support people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions stay in or return to work.
Bullying in the NHS
The NHS Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group has created an infographic to highlight the impact of bullying and harassment in the NHS, and what can be done to tackle it. One in five NHS employees (20%) say they have been bullied by other staff. Just over half (51%) of those reporting bullying say that managers or supervisors are the most common source of it.
Fatal injury statistics
One hundred and forty-four people died at work in Britain in 2015/16, provisional fatal injury statistics from the HSE reveal. The figures, published on 6 July, reveal a fatal injury rate of 0.46 deaths per 100,000 workers, the same as in 2014/15 when 142 workers died. The statistics show that more workers were killed in construction than in any other industrial sector, whereas agriculture and the waste and recycling industry had the highest fatal injury rates.
ACAS code not applicable in ill-health dismissal
Employment tribunals can ‘uplift’ any compensation awarded in unfair dismissal cases if the employer has failed to follow the ACAS Code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. However, in Holmes v QinetiQ, the Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the original tribunal that there could be no uplift as the code did not apply to ill-health dismissals. The employee – a security guard with more than 17 years’ service – had been dismissed because his ill health and extensive sickness absence record rendered him incapable of performing his duties. The dismissal was held to be unfair because the employer had not sought an OH report, which would have been relevant to the case. But it was not a misconduct or poor-performance issue, so the code did not apply. The code would still apply, however, in cases where ill health had led to a failure to comply with sickness absence procedures or an allegation that the ill health was not genuine.
The latest Research Plus is available free of charge on our website
Research Plus, funded by a grant from the British Occupational Health Research Foundation
, is freely available to all OH professionals. It is published as part of the Occupational Health [at Work]
journal. It highlights original research and systematic reviews from a wide range of current publications meeting evidence quality criteria.
Please visit http://www.atworkpartnership.co.uk/researchplus
to search all of the articles in Research Plus free of charge from 2007 to the present day.
The June/July issue looks at research in the following areas, amongst others:
- PPE and highly infectious diseases
- Desks and sitting at work
- Organisational change and wellbeing
- Mindfulness, CBT and chronic back pain
- Workplace interventions for depression and anxiety
- Impact of multisite pain on work ability
To read all of the articles in the latest issue of Research Plus, please visit our website.